As the fall TV season approaches with relatively sparse new programming, we are left with the unassailable conclusion that Hollywood has run out of ideas. If you doubt that, check out the recent and upcoming crop of movies: Indy 4, Shrek 4, Beverly Hills Cop 4, re-boots of Hulk, Batman, and, for the love of god, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (I only wish I were making that up).
The television equivalent of the creativity-deprived practice of churning out sequels is the TV show spin-off. An existing show takes a character, or concept, or title and creates an entirely new series. These have had historically varying degrees of success ranging from Joey and AfterMASH to Laverne and Shirley.
The Current Show: Heroes
New Show Title: Jackess: A Chick Does Stupid Stuff
The Concept: Claire, the indestructible cheerleader from Heroes, gets a contract offer from MTV to re-imagine the show Jackass. Being indestructible, she is able to take the stunts to the next level of stupidity; throughout the weeks, she can: Stuff herself into a wood-chipper, get torn apart by a pack of wild dogs, run through gang-infested neighborhoods shouting racial epitaphs, and wear an ACLU pin to a gun show.
The Tagline: "Save the Cheerleader...from herself!"
The Current Show: 24
New Show Title: The Kim Chronicles
The Concept: The shows follow Jack Bauer's hot-but-dull-and-painfully-stupid daughter Kim as she tarts her way through a life of stabbing randomly at a keyboard, falling for bad guys who turn out to work for international terrorists, and generally being an annoying pain-in-the-ass.
The Tagline: "In case you actually care what happened to her."
The Current Show: Grey's Anatomy
New Show Title: Izzy's Anatomy
Writing? What Writing?
The Concept: I think the title says it all... after all, who do we really want to see nekkid? Merredith? McDreamy? I think not. As for the plot...hell, who are we kidding...Cinemax, here we come!!
The Tagline: "Heigel Nekkid without the disturbing birth scene."
The Current Show: Friday Night Lights
New Show Title: Tuesday Night Study Group
The Concept: Smash, and the rest have made it to college. Join them as they struggle to maintain their eligibility in difficult, advanced classes such as: Numbers from One to Four, English as a First and Only Language, and The Science of Wedgies. Hey, it's more entertaining than life in a small Texas town on any day OTHER than Friday.
Dumber than Advertised
The Tagline: "We Swear We'll Show some of the games."
The Current Show: Desperate Housewives
New Show Title: Pathetic Old Cougars
The Concept: The ladies of Wisteria Lane are old, worn out middle-agers...wait...that's the same show.
The Tagline: "They all Look the Same in the Dark"
The Current Show: House, MD
New Show Title: Cameron, MD
The Concept: Spunky blond Dr. Cameron heads her own diagnostic group at a new hospital. She and her gang of competent, elder doctors solve cases by talking to patients, examining symptoms, being nice to everyone, and following hospital regulations...UNTIL Cameron breaks her back participating in a charity event for the Home for the Slightly Confused. She is wheelchair-bound, fires her team, hires three young, dumb, lackeys, and entertains herself by verbally abusing them and "accidentally" running over their toes with her wheelchair.
The Tagline: "You thought HE was Bitchy..."
The Current Show: Lost
New Show Title: Gilligan's Island, REDUX
The Concept: Things on the island get weirder as a deranged,pot-smoking dweeb, a fat guy in a sailor hat,and and old rich guy and his wife appear. Also, a deranged "professor" kills off the remaining originals from the series and uses their skulls to build "radios" and "bicycles" all the while mumbling about being referred to as "and the rest..."
He's Using Coconuts...
The Tagline: "We Thought You Were Watching Something Else Tonight"